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Debt Ceiling Deal?; More Subpoenas In Bridgegate Investigation

Aired February 11, 2014 - 05:30   ET



GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: All right. They're bracing for the storm. Severe winter weather set to pummel the south yet again today, grounding schools, schools are closed and residents told to stay at home. But how bad will it be? Indra Petersons is tracking is all for us here.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): More subpoenas and new questions into whether Chris Christie had anything to do with the bridge traffic scandal. Who investigators now want to talk to and why they're so interested in the governor's chopper travel? We are live.

HOWELL: And a breathtaking terror takedown that was caught on camera. The tense moments as U.S. forces captured a suspected al Qaeda leader. That's straight ahead.


PEREIRA (on-camera): Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Michaela Pereira.

HOWELL (on-camera): And I'm George Howell. 5:30 here in the east.

This morning, the south is just starting to see the beginnings of what could be a major winter storm. We're talking about snow, ice, and rain that's starting to fall in Texas to the Carolinas. By Thursday, it could reach all the way to the northeast. And then, the real worries come into play. It could be very bad for a lot of people. Hundreds of flights have already been canceled.

PEREIRA: In Alabama, it began overnight. Want to show you pictures from overnight just north of Birmingham. You can see snow falling and accumulating on the roads already. The entire state will be under a state of emergency beginning in just a few hours. Crews were out late trying to get ahead of it, spraying down the roads in advance of the storm. Many schools are already closed and residents there are being told just to stay at home.

HOWELL: All right, look at this. The store shelves nearly wiped clean in the state of Georgia as folks scrambled to get ready for the storm. Forty-five counties are now under a state of emergency. Most schools there have been closed, including the city of Atlanta. And unlike the last time, road crews will be out early, this time, trying to prevent another paralyzing shutdown like the one that left thousands of people on frozen roadways two weeks ago. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KASIM REED, MAYOR OF ATLANTA: We're going to have 120 pieces of equipment available to us. We already have the contractors in place. We have the material that's needed for deicing in place. And we're partnering with the state. And then, I'll let the results speak for themselves.


PEREIRA: Crews were loading up on salt and sand to treat the roads in Mississippi, which also could be hit hard with ice. The governor's warning to be prepared for power outages if lines come down because of the storm.

HOWELL: But no worries. Our own Indra Petersons is tracking it here.


HOWELL: Indra, tell me how bad -- oh, gosh, we've got to talk about the snow --


PEREIRA: I'm ready for team Canada.



PEREIRA: There are. They're everywhere, and I just sort of felt like I had to be the one person wearing the red ones.

PETERSONS: Tomorrow, OK? We're both going to have. I'll have mine, you have yours. I got to even this out.


PETERSONS: George, I got to mess with you because you were talking about Chicago.

HOWELL: Yes, yes.

PETERSONS: Do you think it was a bad winter, a little bit of snow for you? You're almost 40 inches above average for the season.


HOWELL: Indra, I can tell.

PETERSONS: You can tell, right?

HOWELL: I know that for fact. Yes.

PEREIRA: But 40 inches of it --


PETERSONS: Exactly. So, give me a little bit of respect. In Atlanta, they only had several inches, and you can see the difference for places that are not used to it, what kind of devastation they can see, and unfortunately, that is going to be the same situation again today. Why? Look at the temperature difference from below freezing to above freezing. When you see that kind of contrast in a short area, that's where you have all these three different types of precipitations.

You're talking about ice rain along the coast, ice, kind of that wintry mix, the sleet in between and also snow behind it. This is what we're already seeing. This is what we are expecting, guys. I mean, take a look, Atlanta, could see upwards up to about an inch of ice. That's just one of the models, some saying about a quarter of an inch.

Either way, not a good situation, looking for almost over an inch there out towards Columbia, South Carolina. All this means power lines could be coming down, and it's not just ice, guys. We're talking about the threat of snow. Already today, Atlanta seeing some snow chances, and then eventually, a low will form, make its way all the way up to the northeast. For some models, they bring it up as high as even over a foot out towards D.C.

Other models, five to six inches. Again, very tricky. Let's talk about what's going on. Here's the first wave we're talking about today, rain and ice. That kicks off overnight tonight, but a second wave makes its way in. This is the guy we're going to track as it makes its way up the coastline. Depending on where it goes, it will bring those various amounts. Again, close to the coastline, heavy snow at the coast. Move farther inland, more snow inland.

PEREIRA: And either way, if power outages are accompanied with by it, it just adds to the misery.

PETERSONS: And the cold temperatures. Just imagine the combination --

PEREIRA: All right.

HOWELL: It's a mess for a lot of people.

PEREIRA: At least we know about it in advance.

HOWELL: Yes. You can plan for it.

PEREIRA: Exactly.

PETERSONS: You'll need those mittens.


PEREIRA: Thank you, Indra.

All right. Back to the news now breaking overnight, new developments in the battle over raising the debt ceiling.


PEREIRA (voice-over): House Republican leaders have now revealed their plan saying they would agree to increase the borrowing limit in exchange for restoring recently cut military pensions, but some conservatives don't like it and say any spending increases should be taken off the table. The treasury department says the U.S. will hit the debt ceiling at the end of the month.

HOWELL (voice-over): Many small businesses now have a little more time to comply with the affordable health care act's employer mandate. The administration announcing that companies with fewer than 100 workers will have until 2016 to start providing coverage. The mandate deadline was already pushed back for all businesses until 2015. The administration says it wants to give companies enough time to make the changes as simple as possible.


PEREIRA: We could see as many as 18 new subpoenas today in the state investigation into what many are calling Bridgegate, that scandal involving New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, and whether some top aides were behind the closures of lanes on the George Washington Bridge. That, as Christie hits the road again, heading to Chicago for more Republican fundraisers. CNN's political editor, Paul Steinhauser, is here with us. Bright and early, my friend.


PEREIRA: Bright and early. Paul, let's talk about this. Give us an idea what's on the agenda today. What are his plans?

STEINHAUSER: Here's what's on tap for the governor. He's going to be giving a speech and taking questions in front of cameras. This is going to be interesting, at the Chicago Economics Club. He's also got some one-on-one meetings with some top donors, and then, yes, there's a fundraiser for the Republican Governors Association.

Of course, Christie now the chairman of the RGA, which some people see as a possible stepping stone to Christie running for the White House in 2016. Also, just a couple hours before he heads to Chicago, the RGA released some fundraising numbers. This is interesting. They say that $6 million was raised this last month in January. Their best January ever.

And that Christie just last week, remember, he was in Texas fundraising, they say he raked in $1.5 million. So, I kind of think the RGA is trying to say that even though there are all these controversies back in New Jersey, Chris Christie is doing what he needs to do as RGA chairman and that is raise money -- Guys.

HOWELL: So, Paul, you know, this New Jersey controversy, is that really following Chris Christie as he goes around the country to Chicago? STEINHAUSER: Yes. It is following him, no doubt about it. The Democrats are following him. They're shadowing him, and they're going to have another top surrogate out there, just like they did in Florida and just like they did in Texas. This time, Ohio -- former Ohio governor, Ted Strickland, will be out there. He'll be taking questions, meeting with reporters, criticizing Chris Christie.

And get this, there are four Republican gubernatorial candidates in Illinois. There's an election there this year. None of them are meeting with Christie and the Democrats are hyping that big time, saying look, again, Republicans are avoiding Chris Christie. But, here's what the RGA tells me. Listen, Christie was never supposed to meet with any of these four guys because the RGA doesn't get involved in primary politics.

When the republicans finally have one nominee, then they say Christie will be out there helping them try to win back that seat -- guys.

PEREIRA: So, there's the optics and then there's a reality, and I guess, there's also their own realities, right? So, I'm just curious, though, when you look ahead, how long do you think this backlash is going to stick with him about this whole thing?

STEINHAUSER: Yes. This is the troubling part for Chris Christie, is you're right, perception is just as important as reality, just like we saw when Christie went to Florida and Texas, you've got the media really, you know, focusing in on this and asking questions about the controversy. So, they're following Christie wherever he goes. And let's be honest, that is a serious problem.

Another thing, the media, as I said, is taking this so seriously that even CNN, we are sending one of our top correspondents, Dana Bash, she's out there in Chicago. She will be live later this morning following Christie. So, it is troubling for him as he tries to get back to business as usual, not only as New Jersey governor, but as the chairman of the RGA -- Michaela, George.

HOWELL: A lot of eyes, a lot of attention on Chris Christie. Paul Steinhauser, thank you so much for that report.

Alison Kosik now joining us live with a look at the markets.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And good morning. European markets are higher as the world waits to hear from Federal Reserve chairwoman, Janet Yellen. She's going to be testifying before a House committee today. London, France, and Germany all posting gains. Hong Kong jumped more than 1.5 percent. And it looks like the U.S. stock market is going to follow that pattern.

Ah, yes, but things could change on a dime if the new fed chair gives any clues about veering away from easing the fed's stimulus program. When she's on Capitol Hill later this morning, she's expected to be asked about the weak jobs data that came out last week and how it may affect the central bank's decisions as we move forward.

And some other news, some bankers in London are reeling this morning as Barclays announces its cutting up to 12,000 jobs, more than half of those jobs in the UK, really makes you realize even the financial industry not immune to these job cuts.

HOWELL: That's tough.


PEREIRA: All right, Alison. Thanks so much for that.

HOWELL: Still coming up, an American accused of helping an al Qaeda leader overseas. The new plan the military could use to take down their target. That's next.


PEREIRA: This morning on Capitol Hill, we could find out more about the threats facing our nation as director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, will testify before a Senate committee about the dangers overseas and here at home. The head of the defense intelligence agency, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn will also take part.

HOWELL: OK. So, that is happening as CNN has learned, the Obama administration is deciding whether to stage an operation to kill an American citizen overseas, a citizen who's suspected of plotting attacks against the U.S. Military commanders and the national security officials, they are also said to be taking part in these talks, but ultimately, it is the president who would have to sign off on any operation.

The White House is not talking about the decisions but pointed to a speech the president made last year. Listen.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He said that he does not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen without due process nor should any president deploy armed drones over U.S. soil. But he also said that when a U.S. citizen goes abroad to wage war against the United States and is actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens, and when neither the United States nor our partners are in a position to capture him before he carries out a plot, his citizenship should not serve as a shield.


HOWELL: The U.S. last carried out a strike against an American citizen in 2011 in Yemen.

PEREIRA: We're getting a new look this morning at the dramatic capture of a suspected terrorist in Libya. This, security camera footage obtained by the "Washington Post" shows a white van that's full of army delta force commandos pulling up next to a vehicle. The commandos jump out and grab Abu Anas al-Libi that happened last October. Al-Libi was wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa. He is now in a U.S. jail. All right. Let's take a look at what is on deck for "NEW DAY." Kate Bolduan joins us. Hi, darling.

HOWELL: Good morning.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, you guys. We are, of course, going to have much more on the debate happening in the country as well as within the Obama administration, most importantly, whether or not to use drone strikes to kill an American overseas who's accused of actively plotting terrorist attacks. Big questions here.

We're going to talk with a former attorney general, Alberto Gonzales. He's been very vocal about the use of drones, drone strikes, and also been very vocal about the president's executive powers. It will be interesting to get his take as this is a debate that is happening in real-time.

And also, it seems everyone is still talking about those Hillary Clinton papers where she discusses with a long-time, close confidante the Monica Lewinski affair, her reaction to it, how she allows herself to forgive Bill Clinton over it. We're going to meet the people who literally wrote the book on Hillary called "HRC." It's out. We're going to get their take on that as well as some of the revelations that come out in their book. They're going to be joining us on set today.

HOWELL: Kate, thank you. A lot of insight in that, I'm sure. All right. Thank you much.

PEREIRA: Big day in Sochi today. We could see more American gold. That's the man, snowboarder, Shaun White. He is looking to three-peat in the half pipe. He's won that event in the last two Olympics. Let's talk bobsledding, one of my favorite sports. Johnny Quinn, he's hoping that he doesn't get stuck again. What are we talking about? Well, that happened.

He got trapped in a bathroom in his hotel room over the weekend, used part of his sled to bust down a door. And then, oh, what happened next? On Monday, he and some of his teammates wound up stuck in an elevator.

HOWELL: Talk about bad luck.


JOHNNY QUINN, U.S. OLYMPICS BOBSLEDDER: As we got to the first floor, the elevator door opened quickly and then shut very hard immediately. And so, fortunately, everybody had their phones as you can tell by the pictures. And people on the first floor kind of heard what was going on, so immediately, assistance was right there and we got out of the elevator in a timely manner. But just kind of a funny scenario to happen shortly thereafter the bathroom door situation.


PEREIRA: These games are all about the stories and the personalities. HOWELL: It really is.

PEREIRA: Boy, they have their own stories that they're going to take. Well, bobsledding doesn't start in Sochi for another five days. So, I guess, you could say he has plenty more chances to get stuck in confined spaces.

HOWELL: An elevator or a door.

PEREIRA: Maybe he is claustrophobic, I don't know.

HOWELL: Have you ever been stuck in an elevator?

PEREIRA: I don't want to tempt fate. I live in a building with an elevator, so let's not discuss it.

HOWELL: Yes. Not fun.


HOWELL: All right. Still coming up and this is a tough story, a mother's heartbreak. The dramatic 911 calls when a young woman realized that her newborn was missing. That story's coming up next.


HOWELL: Now to some breaking news we're following. Hollywood legend has died. CNN confirms Shirley Temple Black, the child star who was a fixture on dozens of films and later chose a life in politics, serving as a U.S. ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia. Shirley Temple Black was 85 years old.

PEREIRA: Started performing at 3 1/2 years old.

HOWELL: Very young. And long career, long career.

PEREIRA: What a life.


PEREIRA: We're hearing this morning, the dramatic 911 calls from Wisconsin when an 18-year-old mother realized her newborn baby had gone missing.


PEREIRA (voice-over): Breanna Marshall (ph) called police, distraught to report that newborn, Kayden Powell (ph), had disappeared. Also gone, her half-sister, who is now charged with his abduction.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rock County 911, where's the emergency? OK. What's going on?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My son is missing! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. How old is your son?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's like four days old.


PEREIRA: Kristin Smith (ph) now faces kidnapping charges. The FBI says she's confessed to taking the newborn and leaving him in a plastic storage bin. Investigators say they found online conversations where she claimed to be pregnant.

HOWELL (voice-over): It's a tough story.

Another story a lot of people are watching today in Jacksonville. The jury could -- the case could go against Michael Dunn, the Florida man charged with gunning down a 17-year-old after an argument over loud rap music. He says it was in self-defense. But Monday, a state medical examiner disputed that. Jurors saw the bullet-riddled clothes that the teen had on.

Defense attorneys called several character witnesses, and they could call Dunn today. The judge expects closing arguments to start this afternoon.

Now sentenced, a Mexican national connected in the killing of an American border agent using U.S. guns, all part of the botched "Fast & Furious" operation. Manuel Osorio-Arellanes will spend 30 years in jail for the murder of Brian Terry. Loose (ph) two weapons found at the scene of Terry's death were connected back to "Fast & Furious" where criminals were given guns with hopes of then tracking them.

HOWELL: This morning, religious groups are stepping up their efforts to keep same-sex marriage bans in place in Oklahoma and Utah. The Mormon Church and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are among those arguing before a federal appeals court that's reviewing cases that could reverse gay marriage bans in those two states. They claim that unions between a man and woman are best for children, families, and society.

PEREIRA: This morning, more than a dozen people are recovering after a scary explosion at a ball bearing factory in New Hampshire. The blast shook walls, shattered windows, and sent 15 people to the hospital. We're told none of the injuries appear to be life- threatening. The plant builds high-tech parts for the aerospace industry.


PEREIRA (on-camera): Short break here on EARLY START. Coming up, the big money for the new leader of General Motors. Why Mary Barra is set to earn a whole lot more than her predecessor, coming up next in "Money Time."

HOWELL (on-camera): Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOWELL: And we are following some breaking news this morning. CNN confirming that a Hollywood legend has died. Shirley Temple Black who was a child star in dozens of films. She later became a U.S. ambassador and ran for Congress. She died at her home in California of natural causes with her family by her side. The child star who was a fixture in dozens of films. Shirley Temple Black was 85 years old.

Alison Kosik joining us now with a look at the markets -- Alison.

KOSIK: Good morning to you. Global markets looking like they're in the green today, and it looks like the U.S. markets are going to open with gains as well. U.S. futures riding a trend that started in Hong Kong and spread to Europe. Financial markets, though, are going to be keeping a close watch on what the new chair of the Federal Reserve will say today on Capitol Hill.

Janet Yellen will have a Q&A session with members of the House Financial Services Committee later this morning. Now, we aren't expecting any major signals on policy changes going forward from Yellen today, but this is the first time we're going to be hearing from her since she began her job earlier this month. So, investors are going to be on their toes about this.

Remember all the buzz last week over GM's new female CEO making less than her male predecessor? Those erroneous reports created quite the controversy. Well, we now know that GM's CEO, Mary Barra, will take home $14.4 million in her first year on the job, not bad. That's a 60 percent jump from the $9.1 million her predecessor, Dan Ackerson, made.

Most of Barra's compensation is going to be coming in the form of a long-term stock bonus. She is the first woman to lead a major automaker.

Guess what? Your grilled cheese just got a little healthier. Kraft announcing it's going to remove artificial preservatives from some of its individually wrapped Kraft single slices. Kraft says customers want convenient foods with simple ingredients and no artificial preservatives. It's the latest move by a major food maker to use healthier ingredients.

Last week, Subway announced its stopping its use of a chemical found in yoga mats and rubber-soled shoes that was used in its bread. I wonder if the taste of this bread and the cheese is going to change. Won't it be funny if it changes for the worse? And you're like, bring back the chemicals.

HOWELL: Yes. I want the chemicals. It's so funny. I used to love grilled cheese sandwiches --


HOWELL: Not as much. Maybe I should start.

KOSIK: One of life's pleasures.

HOWELL: Alison, thank you so much.

All right. Now, let's turn it over to Chris and Kate with a little show we like to call "NEW DAY" here at CNN. Guys, what's ahead?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ice would build up on trees. Trees will come down and take down power lines.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Breaking news, Shirley Temple, one of the biggest stars of the early days of film, has died. She was the first child star ever and the remarkable life she lived. We're going to take a look back this morning.

BOLDUAN: Storm sequel. A dangerous mix of snow and ice heading for the south today. Will Georgia officials get it right this time? Schools canceled, store shelves picked clean. What happens if and when the front turns to the northeast? We're tracking it all.

CUOMO: Courtroom drama. Another emotional day of testimony in the so-called loud music trial with the victim's father testifying. But the question this morning, Will Michael Dunn take the stand in his own defense? It could happen today.

Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is "NEW DAY" with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.


All right. Breaking news for you this morning. Legendary child actress, Shirley Temple, has died. She was 85 years old. We have a statement from her family saying that she passed away Monday at her California home of natural causes.